THEOPHILUS LALONDE (Lalone) & ESTANISLADA PADILLA  

         

        The family Lalonde traces its roots back to French Colonial Canada. Theophilus was born June 4, 1837 in Ogdensburg NY, although he referred to himself as Canadian. His parents were Louis and Mary Lalonde. He left home at age 14 to find his own way on the busy St. Lawrence River working first as pilot, then mate and finally captain. About 1857 he left Kingston, Ontario and headed west. 1860 found him in Shorter County, Nebraska in the company of another Canadian who was a trader and two men from Mexico or perhaps, New Mexico, who may have been teamsters or muleteers. Shorter County was on the Oregon Trail but if he followed the South Platte River instead of the North Platte that would take him to Colorado then New Mexico is easy. By the mid 1860s he was associated with the Manzano folks who formed the community of Missouri Plaza on the Hondo. Somewhere along the line, Theophilus Lalonde's name changed and became americanized.  The spelling "Lalone" more carefully matches the French pronunciation although in legal documents it was spelled Lalonde.

Estanislada (‘Lada) Padilla was born May 6, 1846, in Manzano, her mother was Julianita Lucero, Julianita’s father, Domingo Lucero was one of the community leaders in the resettlement of Manzano in the early 1800s. ‘Lada’s father was José Encarnación Padilla a farmer and sheep man of Manzano and also one of the groups who reoccupied Lincoln County in 1862-63. Estanislada’s mother died when ‘Lada was young and she was raised by her uncle, Ygnacio Guevara and his wife, Ana Maria Torres. In 1867 she was married to Pat Ryan, who was accidentally killed loading a gun into a wagon (such were the hazards of the west). In 1867 or 68 Theophilus and Estanislada were married in Missouri Plaza on the Hondo.

        About 1868, Lily Casey Klasner came to the Rio Hondo area, in her book, "My Girlhood Among Outlaws", she mentions the Lalones and vividly describes growing up in the area.    At one time Theophilus, or Tioflio as he became known, owned the ranch that the Casey's bought. The Lalones farmed their way across Lincoln County as it developed . After moving from the Missouri Plaza area; Tioflio farmed on the lower Bonito, then in the Salado area during the Lincoln Co. War, then in Nogal. He raised hay for others, sold milk and butter to Fort Stanton and vegetables in White Oaks. Although he was a hard worker, Tioflio wasn’t much of a businessman, coupled with a penchant for drinking too much and then letting others take advantage of him, the family often went hungry. ‘Lada maintained a close relationship with the Guevaras and 1885 State Census shows ‘Lada’s tio, Ygnacio, living on the farm with the Lalones. The Lalone children were Rebecca, Epifina, Fredrico, Carolina, Adelaida and Louis.

The 1900 and 1910 Census shows Tioflio and ‘Lada’ living in White Oaks. The mines in White Oaks attracted many people. Locally ‘Lada’s cousins, the Guebaras came to work in the mines. From Texas, “Coll” Lacey brought his family to ranch nearby and with them was his nephew P.E. “Doc” Lacey. The prosperity in White Oaks drew the Lalone children. Beckie married Dave Tinnon, foreman at the Old Abe Mine. Fanny married “Doc” Lacey November 7, 1898 in White Oaks. “Doc” was cowboying at the time down in Carrizozo, he moved Fanny to a little house not far from the ‘big house’ on the ranch but it was lonely time for her.  Fred and his wife, Margarita Vega who was the daughter of José Maria Vega and Esiquia Torres, lived in White Oaks for a few years then moved to Carrizozo. Fred was a deputy sheriff for a while. Carrie married a miner, Julian Leal; Julian’s sister, Jesucita married Francisco Guevara. Addie married Joe Sanchez. And Louis (who took back the old family name LaLonde) married Elvira Uderos who was half sister to the Leal’s. It’s been said that everyone in Lincoln County are cousins, if you follow the family relationship web out, the Lalones certainly did their part.

As things changed and the children left home the LaLones moved down to Carrizozo. Tioflio seemed to be well liked; he had many friends including Captain Saturnino Baca.  Tioflio died January 3, 1908 and ‘Lada died May 9, 1913 in Carrizozo. When Tioflio died, money was short, the Catholic Priest said there would be a fee but the Baptist Minister said he would perform the service without charge. The funeral service was at the Baptist Church, Tioflio and ‘Lada are buried in Evergreen Cemetery and most of the family is Protestant to this day.